Posts

Revenue Recognition is Coming: Following the Progress at MarketWatch

Once I returned from my Stigler Center fellowship I got to work catching up on the new standard, talking to experts everywhere and working with Audit Analytics to come up with the data to support stories–by my and my colleagues–about companies and their response to the new standard. My goal was to pick some of the obscure topics that were unique or focused on a specific industry.

Update: McKenna at the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center

I’ve updated the post to point to some recent news about PwC and banks that failed in Ukraine and Spain… I returned to Washington D.C. and my job as a journalist at MarketWatch in late June, after almost three months as a Journalist in Residence at the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. My fellowship deliverable, in exchange for the opportunity to study with the researchers, was three posts for the Center’s Pro-Market blog on the state of the audit industry.

At the Stigler Center Pro-Market Blog: Big 4 Lobbies Against SOx

The last time anyone attempted to “modernize” auditor independence rules it was the Securities and Exchange Commission, in 2000, before the Enron failure and Arthur Andersen’s demise, as a result of the growing concern that firms increasing focus on consulting was distracting them for their core purpose, auditing. The Big Four firms are now opportunistically lobbying to go back in time, before Enron, when the industry was self-regulated and mostly left alone, able to have as many conflicts of interest as their powerful public clients would allow.

More on KPMG and the Precedents for Possible Punishment

Why did they do it? The WSJ walks around the question but KPMG may face big fines and, I think, its partners and the PCAOB professional could face criminal charges.

NYSSCPAs Breakfast Briefing: Whistleblowing Under Dodd-Frank – Update

I’ve written at Forbes about the event, including some quotes from Sherron Watkins that made news. Links to a replay of the webcast and a live-blog of the event are included here.

A Happy Story About Housing

My MarketWatch colleague Andrea Riquier took a field trip to Indiana earlier this year on a tip about a group that helps people struggling to get their act together and prepare for home ownership. It’s a nice thing to see, given all the ongoing struggles many still have with jobs, finances and the challenges of this economy, especially in the heartland.

The Legacy of Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White became the 31st Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 10, 2013. Last week she announced she would be leaving the job when President Obama leaves office. Here are some links to recent articles and a few choice ones from the past.

Interesting Disclosures During TBW v. PwC Pre-Trial Period

The TBW v. PwC trial gave the public quite a few interesting disclosures about the audit industry and PwC, including some some pointing to how the firms’ finances, in this case PwC, work.

Update: Writing About Equity Market Structure at MarketWatch

One area I am covering now at MarketWatch is market structure, specifically the equity markets. Reforming equity markets is a big ongoing issue, especially after the May 2010 flash crash. Here’s a summary of the articles, updated for a new one on February 3, I’ve written since May on the subject and some background on some of the many controversies.

Three Accounting-Related Stories At MarketWatch

At MarketWatch I am fortunate that I am not expected to write a story every day, although that’s fine if something comes up like an SEC enforcement order or a spectacular corporate scandal.  I am encouraged, instead, to come up with original analysis of important stories in financial regulation and legislation. We want to add […]

The SEC vs. The PCAOB and Jim Doty: Impasse or Détente?

Jim Doty’s term as chairman of the PCAOB, the audit regulator, expired in October. All summer since I arrived in Washington D.C., leading up to that date and since, there’s been speculation about whether or not SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White would reappoint him to the job.